From Jason Barnes, Oasis Solutions Group Director of Business Development 

It is getting increasingly difficult to separate social media management from customer relationship management (CRM)–hence the increasing number of social CRM services. But just having a social CRM offering is not enough. Just like any technology, you have to first pick a customer engagement and management solution that is right for your organization and create a strategy and guidelines around using it.

  1. Make sure you have a good platform for conducting your social CRM strategy. A CRM software with tight integration to the big three (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) is a must. Monitoring client feedback within their account record in your CRM provides both historical context and a faster response to possible issues or complaints. Its important for your social CRM platform integrate seamlessly with other key applications such as your ERP system to provide a holistic approach to managing your social interactions with your customers.
  2. Reward loyal customers. Reward customers who choose to engage with you via social media with exclusive discounts or offers. The feedback and input those customers provide you can be priceless and well worth an extra 10% the customer’s next purchase.
  3. Use list and group features. Social Media has opened a whole new level of feedback to businesses searching for answers in their customer’s praise and complaints. A common feature of many Social Media sites and CRM software is the ability to track and group your customers by various attributes. Lists such as Clients, Prospects Who Have Considered Us, Positive Feedback from Clients, and Desired Clients are just a few of the common groups than can yield the clues to customer satisfaction most businesses are after.
  4. Talk with your customers, not at them. When it comes to a Social CRM strategy, its important to carry on a two-way conversation with your customers. Most businesses are really good at talking at their customers, however, what most customers want is a fast response from a live person. By utilizing the Social Media integration to your CRM you have a wealth of information to base meaningful communications with your customers.
  5. Respond to customers in a timely manner. As important as the response itself is, you need to make sure you engage the customer as fast as possible. If they have a question, you shouldn’t wait hours before answering. If they have a complaint, it should be minutes before they have a personalized response. Your customers will appreciate it and grow to trust you more and more as you improve.

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